The Yuengling Brewery fire in Tampa Saturday night will not close down plant operations, says Jim Helmke, director of operations at the plant, who was speaking for the company. Helmke reported that the fire, which did more than $1 million dollars in damage to the outside wall, according to UPI on Sunday, Oct. 27, would have no effect on the brewing operations or distribution.
Around 60 firefighters were called in to handle the two-alarm fire. One firefighter was injured seriously enough to be hospitalized, but none of the plant workers were hurt.
“The fire looked a lot worse than it really was,” the spokesman said. And it did, because first reports thought the whole, five-story building had gone up in flames. From the street, the damage appeared to be far more serious, but the fire only reached to the top of the old timbers serving as a façade.
“We are very fortunate,” Hemke went on. “It does look bad. There is a gaping hole and charred remains of the antique timbers, but there is no internal damage, except for the hole in the wall.”
This is the sort of damage that costs more than it is often worth to repair, since the antique wood can probably not be replaced. But there is no rush.